Is It Possible to Cancel a Conditional Divorce?

Hanafi Fiqh

Answered by Ustadh Salman Younas

Question: Is it possible to cancel a conditional divorce? For example somebody says to his wife ” you are divorced if you enter this house,” and then before she has an opportunity to enter this house he regrets what he said and wants to cancel his statement.

What should he do if it is possible?

Answer: assalamu `alaykum

I hope you are well.

Unfortunately, it would not be possible to retract such an utterance. As such, when the wife enters the house intended in the statement, one revocable divorce (raj`i) will occur.

The husband will be allowed to take his wife back within the waiting period (`idda) without having to conduct the marriage contract again. However, if the waiting period ends and he has not taken her back, the divorce becomes irrevocable. A new contract would have to be initiated for the couple to be considered married. [Ibn `Abidin, Radd al-Muhtar]

Divorce is a serious matter, and our religion has attached serious consequences to the mere usage of the word. Individuals need to be more calm and collected when speaking to their spouses and avoid the use of the word ‘divorce’ in loose and hasty fashions. Ultimately, haste is from the workings of the devil, and circumspection is from Allah, as the Prophet (Allah bless him) stated.